A Love Engraved
by DBA Lehane
Vern paused for breath on the hillside and glanced up at the tree through aqueous eyes. Despite his fears it was still there; a little frail and withered maybe - but then so was he these days.
It had been forty years since he’d first brought Alice here. He could still see her beautiful face, dappled in sunlight, as they sat beneath the shaded canopy and he’d whispered “I love you” for the very first time.
She replied she loved him too and had taken him inside her, right there beneath the tree.
Afterwards, with the penknife he always carried, they’d carved their initials within a heart upon the tree.
It was a love engraved forever.
But now Alice was gone and Vern faced life without her.
At the tree he reached out his hand and delicately traced the declaration of their love still carved deep within its gnarled flesh. As tears damped his weathered face he slumped slowly to the floor and took the old penknife from his pocket. Despite its rusted bluntness he knew it would still do.
It was why he’d come back here after all.
Distraught he traced the tip of the blade across his exposed wrist, the arteries pulsing with life beneath his old skin. He took a deep breath, steeled himself and then slowly cut the knife through the polythene bag he held.
Alice’s ashes scattered upon the breeze about him. Vern smiled and wiped a tear from his eye. “Farewell my love.”
[DBA Lehane is a London based writer who likes his vodka neat and women even neater. His official website can be found at www.dbalehane.com and he publishes weekly short short fiction at http://dbalehane.blogspot.com.]